When Linda entered the living room one summer morning it was to see her daughter in the same position as she had been for the past few days.
The redheaded teenager was sprawled on the couch in her pajamas, a bowl of cereal resting on her stomach and lazily flicking through the channels on the television. Candace had been increasingly depressed lately due to her lack of success in busting her brothers and was currently going through a slump.
Linda actually preferred her daughter pestering her every minute of the day to check on her sons rather than just lounging about the house. "Candace, why don't you see what your brothers are doing?"
'Forgive me, boys.'
"What's the point?" Candace asked with a sigh.
"What don't you call Stacy?"
"Visiting her cousins in Japan."
"At one of her environmental protests."
"His dad took him to his old college to apply." Candace scowled and tossed the remote on the coffee table. "I'm such a little kid compared to him!"
"Well, your father has some news for us," Linda interjected quickly before her daughter could go on one of her famous rants. "He left early this morning to pick up something and said he would have a surprise for us when he gets back."
"Oh joy," Candace muttered sarcastically, wary when it came to surprises from her father.
Just then the front door slammed open and Lawrence himself bounded into the living room with a bright smile on his face. "Darling, please bring Phineas and Ferb inside! I have exciting news."
"They're playing with their friends. Should I tell them to wait outside a moment?" Linda asked.
"No, no! Bring them all in. It concerns them too."
Linda went to collect the kids and Candace tensed slightly in hopeful anticipation. 'Maybe, just maybe, the boys will get busted due to me not trying to get them busted.'
"Kids! Come inside!"
Candace scowled. 'Of course not.'
"Mom, you missed it!" Phineas said as he, Ferb and their three best friends came into the living room. "We built this giant popsicle stick model of the Eiffel Tower!"
"But then it just disappeared," Isabella added.
Linda chuckled indulgently. "What imaginations you have. Alright, Lawrence. What news do you have?"
"I met a fellow at the antique shop and he offered me a trade. A package for a family trip in exchange for an old set of records." Lawrence removed a folder from behind his back and grinned. "We're taking a trip to Gravity Falls, Oregon!"
Candace moaned. "You're kidding, right?"
"Candace, stop being negative," Linda chided. "It'll be fun!"
"We get to go as well?" Baljeet asked in awe.
"Of course!" confirmed Lawrence, showcasing the three extra tickets.
"Awesome!" Phineas high-fived his brother. "Just think of all the new opportunities!"
Isabella rubbed her chin in thought. "Gravity Falls is pretty small, isn't? A very touristy place?"
"That's it," Lawrence said with a nod.
"I read about it somewhere online when I was searching for places for our Fireside Girls camping trip. It was four hours away, so we couldn't go, but it looks like a very quiet, peaceful spot."
'Hmm... Maybe peace and quiet is just what I need,' Candace thought.
"Mabel!" Dipper shrieked as he and his twin sister stumbled through the thick forest that surrounded the town of Gravity Falls. "Why did you listen to a note telling you to meet a mysterious person deep in the forest?!"
"They promised me chocolate!" Mabel panted. "Stupid Jeff lied to me!"
"He really needs to get over you," Dipper muttered.
They had left the gnomes quite a ways back but they refused to stop running. Taking down a giant gnome-monster was hard enough the first time around. The last thing they needed was to risk having Jeff and his tribe catch up and try his ultimate move out of them for a second time.
Eventually the two made it back to the Mystery Shack. "Victory!" Mabel shouted and danced into their home.
Stan glanced up from his newspaper as Mabel bounced around the living room. "Did she get into the Smile Dip again?"
Dipper shuddered. "No, thank goodness. She...she just won a card game and is pretty excited about it."
"You bet I am!" Mabel shouted and twirled. She crashed into a side table and the lamp resting on the surface toppled off and shattered on the wooden floor. "Don't worry, I got my glue gun!"
"Kids," Stan muttered. "I suggest you twerps get some rest tonight. You're going to be working your butts off tomorrow."
"Let me guess. This is the time where the tourists swarm in?" Dipper asked.
"You betcha. And all of them are suckers for tacky souvenirs." Stan clapped his hands gleefully. "The money will be rolling in!"
Dipper sighed. "I wonder if there will be any kids our age."
"I hope not. You two are enough." Stan cracked his back. "Alright, I'm gonna watch my shows. Only interrupt me if one of you is bleeding."
"Will do," Dipper muttered. Mabel finished gluing up the lamp with her trusty glue gun and skipped after her brother.
"What's the matter, Grumpy Pants?" Mabel asked.
"We just outran an army of gnomes and you're telling me you're bored?" Mabel asked incredulously.
"I mean, the whole sleuthing thing is cool and all (for the most part) but I want to take a break. I want to hang out with kids that like to have fun."
"Pfft. Thanks. I guess I'm chopped liver."
Dipper rolled his eyes and punched her playfully in the shoulder. "You know I love hanging out with you. But siblings sometimes need breaks from each other, you know?"
Mabel shrugged. "I guess. You can be pretty annoying sometimes. Oh, I love Wendy so much! I wanna marry her! Kissy-kissy-kissy!"
"I don't do that!" Dipper cried, his face turning red. Mabel grinned and continued to make kissing sounds. Dipper tackled her to the ground and the two tussled playfully across the wooden floor, working their way backwards.
Stan jumped when the twins crashed into the doorframe leading to the living room. He watched them for a moment before shaking his head and turning up the volume on the television.
"Kids!" he scoffed.